There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens
In Ecclesiastes 3, the Wisdom teacher says aloud what we already know: there is a time for everything. For new life, for death. For planting and uprooting. For weeping and for laughter. For mourning and dancing. And yet, we resist. I want to laugh without ceasing. Keep the mourning at bay. I want to continuously reap. I do not want to stare at cold, still soil waiting for a shoot to emerge nor do I want to prune or uproot what has been planted. I want to glide easily from victory to victory, unhindered by seasons of difficult change, loss, or death.
Perhaps this is the reason the teacher reminds us of what should be obvious. Nothing is permanent. No circumstance, no victory, no loss, no season of joy or pain, no person. While this might seem a grim word from the Lord it is in fact the greatest of mercies, for it reminds us that we are not the source. We are the created, not the Creator. We participate in God’s redemptive work in the world, co-creating as agents of reconciliation, but ultimately, this is not our show. Therefore, we do not fear. We do not fear the losses, painful though they may be. We do not fear the uprooting and the tearing down. And we do not idolize or attempt to immortalize the victories, the great harvests, the laughter. To everything there is a season. We faithfully join God in the work today, but ultimately rest in the fact that it is God’s work to bring to completion.
In what ways do we as a society (both in the church and outside it) turn seasons of victory, joy, and abundance into idols to be worshipped?
How might we embrace both the victories and the losses, the laughing and the mourning, and release our desire to control every outcome? What freedom might we experience if reclaimed our role as partners in redemption and reconciliation, and ceased usurping the role of God?
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Grace and Peace to you.